DuckDuckGo today announced its e-mail protection service, which aims to protect e-mail privacy without users having to switch e-mail providers.
“70 percent of emails contain trackers that can detect when you opened a message, where you were when you opened it, and what device you used,” reads a new post on the DuckDuckGo blog. If it’s not scary enough, this email data can be used to profile you, including to target you with ads and influence the content you see online. Have you ever opened an email and seen a related ad about it soon afterwards? Yup, blame on email trackers. This data about you is also usually sent directly to third parties, probably without your consent. ”
To combat this problem, DuckDuckGo will release a service called Email Protection that gives users an email address @ duck.com that forwards all messages to your existing email provider with the trackers removed. The service is currently in beta with a waiting list, and it is unclear whether DuckDuckGo will eventually charge a subscription fee.
Either way, the idea seems like a good one. In addition to the forwarding feature, Email Protection will let you have unique private email addresses – using the DuckDuckGo mobile app or browser extension – so you can not be tracked by your email address. And since this is DuckDuckGo, your email is not stored by the company. “When we receive an email, we immediately remove trackers from it and forward it to you, never storing it on our systems,” the company explains. “We do not even store the headers (eg On / Off).”
The big hurdle, I guess, is that you have to create a new @ duck.com email address and then use that with all your online services. So you have to try to change the email account you use everywhere on the web.
If you are interested in testing email protection in beta, you need to join a waiting list. To do so, install the DuckDuckGo app on your Android or iPhone, navigate to Settings> Beta Features> Email Protection, and then select “Join Private Waiting List.”
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